Updated: Mar 13, 2019
Do you even Enneagram? Episode 1.
I am so excited to bring you this new series - "do you even enneagram?" If you're just getting started, this post is the place to be. This is where I will introduce the Enneagram and talk a little about why this ancient, mysterious and creepily accurate personality typing system is such an invaluable tool for basically all humans everywhere.
Disclaimer - I am not a therapist! I'm not certified in any kind of counseling, or as an Enneagram coach. I cannot diagnose you, treat you or counsel you. I share what I share because I find the Enneagram to be a fascinating, insightful tool for anyone who wants to have a better understanding of themselves or the people in their lives. I'm no expert - but I invite you to join me as I study and share what I am learning.
So- what even is the Enneagram? The Enneagram is an ancient system of identifying nine basic personality types and understanding their core motivations, desires, fears and goals. It is, its most basic form, a personality test. What sets it apart from other personality tests, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the equally well-known "What Kind of Potato am I" Facebook quiz is that, rather than drawing a box and placing us into it, the Enneagram places us on a continuum, where we flow back, forth and across depending on our season of life.
Do you remember what you were like as a kid, before the realities of life started wearing on you? Maybe you were daring and adventurous, until that one time you broke your arm. Maybe you were imaginative and dreamy, which got you in trouble at school. Maybe you were a decisive, take charge leader who was misunderstood or labeled as bossy or difficult. Our adult personalities are the masks and defense mechanisms we have developed over time to protect ourselves from the intense pain of the rejection by family, friends and society of our truest, most uninhibited and unsullied nature - our essence. By studying the Enneagram, we can begin to rediscover, reclaim and integrate that essence back into our lives.
The Enneagram also offers us the gift of insight into the core fears and motivations of the people we love and interact with on a daily basis. When you understand the underlying factors behind the behaviors of your spouse, your children, your boss and your co-workers, you are more easily able to extend grace and acceptance.
Most of the information in this series comes from my study of two main resources - #1, the Enneagram Institute website (www.enneagraminstitute.com) and #2, "The Road Back to You, an Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery" by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile.
I highly recommend that you visit the Enneagram Institute website and take the RHETI (Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator). It's $12, and it is linked here (not an affiliate link, I don't profit from this at all). The RHETI is 144 questions, and will take you a good 20-30 minutes. You'll need to be in a quiet place where you can think and sit undisturbed. Answer the questions as honestly as you're able. You will get an immediate result with your 3 highest scores, and then an email that shows you your results in all 9 areas.
The test is a great introduction to the Enneagram and understanding your personality type, but that is far from the totality of things. The more you put into the Enneagram, the more you will get out of it. I have found that in just the past few months as I have taken the test, read "The Road Back to You," and discussed my results with a few trusted friends, I have experienced deeper growth, a stronger connection to my essence, greater peace and more honest and vulnerable communication with the people I love. And that is worth way more than $12.
"In essence, every person is perfect, fearless, and in a loving unity with the entire cosmos; there is no conflict within the person between head, heart, and stomach or between the person and others." - Oscar Ichazo